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Ancient Egypt vs. Ancient Mesopotamia

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by

Emma Mehigan

on 10 October 2014

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Transcript of Ancient Egypt vs. Ancient Mesopotamia

All In All
There were many similarities and differences between culture and life in general, but when you look at it, both Ancient Egypt and Ancient Mesopotamia were incredible civilizations that had a successful, if ultimately failed, run. They contributed to life as we know it today, and our lives could be drastically different from the luxuries we know today.
Geography
Egypt
In ancient Egypt, the Nile River was the center of civilization.
Every year, the Nile would flood and provide fertile soil for the next year of planting and harvesting crops. The deserts on the east and west of this civilization created a natural barrier from other forming civilizations.
Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia was the area located between the Tigris and
Euphrates Rivers in the Fertile Crescent. Rainy seasons as well as the flooding of the surrounding rivers provided fertile soil and water for a bountiful vegetation and crop season.
Government
Egypt
The government system in Ancient Egypt was a monarchy,
organized in this order of pharaoh, his chosen representatives, and priests. Pharaohs owned everything, and were viewed as gods. The representatives and priests had control over their own area of land, but they had to follow the pharaoh's orders. The priests' land was purely for religious purposes. If the pharaoh's rule was weak, he/she sometimes had to listen to the representatives.
Mesopotamia
Ancient Mesopotamia was ruled by kings and nobles.
However, the people were able to overrule the king if they so desired. There were set laws that covered the entirety of the region, and each law had a set punishment that differed for men and women, and between social classes. Each city-state had its own government unlike Egypt which was all one kingdom.
Similarities
These ancient civilizations' governments were very similar but they
had a couple that really stand out such as a king or a pharaoh and social classes.
Religion
Egypt
The Egyptians were a polytheistic civilization. They
worshiped their many gods with animal sacrifices as well as incense and carrying around possessions from one place to another with images of gods on them. It was believed that all of Egypt belonged to the gods and that the pharaoh was a god. They believed that everything belonged to the gods, so basically, everything in Egypt belonged to its Pharaoh. When a person died, they would be mummified and put in a tomb with many of their important belongings because it was believed that once someone died, they would be reborn into a second life.
Mesopotamia
Ancient Mesopotamia was also a polytheistic civilization. The cities
each had their own god who was special to them. Each city had a Ziggurat in the center of town that the community revolved around. Religious ceremonies were performed at the top of the Ziggurats, as it was believed that the gods lived in the sky. Offerings of food, cloth, and wine were left for the gods every day, and were collected by the priests, who were viewed as the gods' earthly representation.
Education/Inventions
Egypt
In Ancient Egypt, there were some schools, but no one really went to them. Girls were not
allowed to go to school. Very few girls could read or write. Most kids learned at home from their mother, father, or slave acting as a tutor. Boys and girls learned many household chores and things to help the family. Some boys from rich families went to school to become a scribe. Scribes had to be good at reading and writing and math to keep records. If you were training to be a scribe, you went to school for the age of 4 to the age of 15. The people of ancient Egypt invented the calendar, the pyramids, a number system including fractions, mummification, and the use of papyrus.
Mesopotamia
In Ancient Mesopotamia, school was for learning to read and write. It was run by priests
and was often very difficult. If a mistake was made, it was followed by a light whipping. Only the boys were allowed to go to school, but girls were able to learn if their parents or a tutor taught them. Being educated guaranteed a job in the future. The people of Mesopotamia invented the sailboat, the chariot, the game checkers, the first written language, cuneiform, and some of the mathematical system we use today.
Similarities
In both civilizations, only boys could go to school as well as school being a way for a child to
learn how to read and write.
Ancient Egypt vs. Ancient Mesopotamia
Similarities
Both the civilizations of
Egypt and Mesopotamia relied on their rivers. They had fertile soil from the annual flooding as well as irrigation to last them through dry season. They thrived through planting and harvesting which was made possible by the rivers.
Similarities
In both ancient Egypt and
Mesopotamia, religion was highly integrated with government. The majority of the decisions that the government made depended on what they believed. Both civilizations were polytheistic and they made offerings to the gods that they believed in.
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